Is there a "best" location to stay in the Mara?

Oct 16th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Is there a "best" location to stay in the Mara?

We will most likely be in the Mara sometime in late September, early October 2008.
Currently, our proposed itinerary has us staying at the Mara Sarova.
I see that this is kind of set off by itself at the eastern edge of the park, while it seems there are lots of lodges/camps at the north central and very northern sections of the park.

Is there a better location to be based at in the park?
luv2globetrot is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Why not check Kichwa Tembo, Main Governor's or Intrepid's. All though will be more expensive than Sarova.
sandi is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Just to clarify, I'm wondering about the actual physical location in the park, not which camp/lodge is the best.

So, are you saying that it's better to try to choose an accommodation in the central or northern areas of the park?
luv2globetrot is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 03:02 PM
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If you want to stay in the same price range as the Mara Sarova, or a bit more, I recommend the Mara Serena, off by itself in the central western part of the Masai Mara. We spend 5 nights there in August and had great wildlife sightings.
Novak is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:07 AM
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Many prefer to be in the Mara Triangle area, west of the Mara River, which would be opposite from where Sarova is located. But you have to remember, there are just so many properties actually here, so you will find many others a bit north on the private group/council lands.

Seems so many get fussy if they have to drive an extra 20/min - 1/hr to one of the Mara River crossing point, but there's lots to see along the way. Driving in/around parks/reserves is part of the safari experience. Besides, during the migration herds can be anywhere in the Reserve and adjacent lands.

If looking for properties as "best", the ones I mentioned (camps) are considered so and in the Triangle area. The Serena is a lodge.

There's also Fig Tree and Basecamp - both camps, immediately outside the Triangle area to the east, but not as east as Sarova.

sandi is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 05:01 AM
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Hi I agree with Sandi.Mara Sarova is expensive.Would you like to have a tented camp safari or a lodge safari.
I can recommned the Karen Blixen Camp which is away from the traffic of th Masai Mara but also nice.Their website is
yiassi is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

I will be looking into Serena Lodge, but am really wanting to stay at a tented camp in the Mara, and I like that Sarova has a pool. Seems like it would be nice to have that as something to do in the middle of the day.

Sandi, I see what you mean about the extra drive being part of the safari, so I don't guess that Sarova would be "too far out".

Thanks everyone
luv2globetrot is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Sarova is not expensive. The Serena Lodge or Kichwa Tembo or Governor's Camps will be more $$$$.
sandi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 12:24 AM
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Check out Shompole- it is just outside the mara. Access to the place is by cessa only. It is thee most spectacular place I have ever stayed in. No other lodge could compare to this. This place is a piece of paradise. I can't say enough about this place except it took my breath away. This place has truly the WOW factor- I stayed there in Sept- let me know if you need any info.

deburgo is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Unless there's a different Shompole I'm not aware of, I wouldn't characterize it as just outside of the Mara. It's more than 80km as the crow flies from the nearest reserve gate and who knows how far by road. If you had a private plane available to you, then it would be feasible to do game drives in the Mara from here
Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Shompole near the Mara... looks that way on a map only.

You can fly from the Mara to Shompole and it's still an 1/hr. Rizzuto should know, he did this past summer. Otherwise, the drive from Nairobi is about 4/hrs, about 3/hrs on good road, then 1/hr on mostly sand/dirt. Or by air, about 1/hr flight time.

Game drives and other activities are done on the lands where Shompole is located or down at Lake Natron.
sandi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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I had this same question as my original itinerary had me at the Mara Sarova, but not during "migration time" in the Mara.

I ended up switing my time in the Mara to Mara Explorer, which is right next to Mara Intrepids, as Sandi suggested. Intrepids has a poos as well, from my understanding.

Not sure where you looked before, but here's a link to a great map of the accommodations in the Mara

Best of luck in your planning. I understand the second guessing and all that you're going through. Went through it myself over the past few months, but have come up with an itinerary that I'm quite happy with now. You will too.

going_2_africa is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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The info on this link addresses you question from an accommodations standpoint.

atravelynn is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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Deburgo, thanks for the suggestion about Shompole, but that sounds a little out of the way for us.

Patty and Sandi, thanks for clearing that up for me.

Shane, I do have that map bookmarked. It's a great reference! Thanks.

atravelynn, thanks for that thread...some good ideas there.
luv2globetrot is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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hi luv2globetrot

IMHO nobody can answer your title question...

but see these discussions:

Mara Lodging

Mara without the crowds?

Opinion on staying inside or outside the Masai Mara?

Mara explorer


PS unfortunately, the "search" is somewhat problematic & i couldn't find some threads i wanted to
aby is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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I used to think I had the perfect solution with Mara River Camp. They had regular walk-in tents with no river view that were labeled photographer tents and the weekly rate was great, better than the other nicer tents with river views. Does anyone remember those? Is there an equivalent, if indeed that was a good deal?
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Posts: 369

Can you tell us a little more about Karen Blixen Camp?
simbakubwa is offline  
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